The Creek and the Cave

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Photo by Judith Klein Rich
The Taco Al Carbon Platter provides a perfect sample of Mexican cuisinePhoto by Judith Klein Rich
The Taco Al Carbon Platter provides a perfect sample of Mexican cuisine

The uncanny uniqueness and playfulness infused into Long Island City businesses is a pleasure to experience. There’s always something a little different and off-beat about them, making us love them that much more. One such place I’ll shine a spotlight on is LIC’s very own The Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue), a funky California style Mexican eatery and a performance space rolled into one.

Although still relatively new on the scene, being open for roughly two years, The Creek and the Cave has already made a name for itself. Popular year-round, it’s a gathering spot for lunch, brunch, dinner and late-night entertainment such as improv shows, comedy and open mic nights.

When it comes to food, quality, freshness and simple flavors reign. Showcasing a menu of Mexican comfort food staples with a West Coast point-of-view, you can find your South of the Border classics, featuring fresh and locally-sourced (when possible) ingredients.

A simple yet clear stand-out is the basket of house made chips and salsa that greet you at the beginning of your meal. Hand-cut and beautifully irregular in shape, the chips are an accurate sneak peek into the delicious future of your meal.

Whether in the mood for a hearty burrito, enchiladas or a taco platter, The Creek always delivers something spectacular. The personally recommended Taco Al Carbon Platter allows you to sample three tacos of your choice. The slow roasted pork is highly recommended, marinated in a sweet pineapple salsa that gives it that sweet-salty deliciousness. The ultimate piece-de-resistance is the seafood taco, stuffed with grilled or beer battered fish or shrimp, dressed with crunchy cabbage salsa and some sinus-cleaning zing from the wasabi.

Even though meat is found in the majority of the menu, veggie dishes are also plentiful. Classic examples include the Baja Quesadilla, stuffed with creamy goat cheese, avocado and jalapeno peppers or the Grilled Spinach Burrito that’s just as filling as a meaty version, with sautéed spinach, tangy cheddar jack cheese, avocado and a helping of tofu.

If you’re looking to just cozy up to the bar, The Creek and the Cave keeps it open late – until 2 a.m. during the week and until 4 a.m. on weekends.

The Creek and the Cave has proved itself with its fun and progressive personality. Its point of differentiation, a deeply-seeded respect for local ingredients and talent, has certainly resonated in the community, causing a much-deserved buzz and more importantly, loyal customers that keep coming back.